Colinizer: taking up residence in your tech brain

Thursday November 7 2013

The Best $99 a Year You Can Spend On Your Kids’ Education

Filed under: Office 2013, Office 365, SkyDrive, Skype — Tags: , , , , , , , , — colinizer @ 17:40

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Yesterday I did a talk at a school, talking about careers in information technology.  We had a great time with a demo of texting colours to lamps in the lamps in the class room – yes, Text-To-Lamp -  but it pains me to know that there’s little exposure locally to industry standard software for these children. 

I live in an area of the country where legislation prevents school boards from promoting services that store personal information outside of the country, or some such nonsense.  Now I get the privacy concerns – I’m a private person – but this really needs to change.  It’s nonsense because teachers here slyly promote US-hosted services like Twitter and Prezi because they know that children need to be technically savvy.  So sadly, overall in some places of the modern world, children here are not being exposed to great software and services and the skills to use them that can be taken into the job market place.  So here’s the deal.  It’s up to parents to do this in the home where they can…… 

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Wednesday April 17 2013

Prediction: Windows Phone 9 is Windows 9 Phone – Pocket PC +Glasses FTW

How many times have you heard pundits, experts, retail associates and reporters incorrectly refer to Windows Phone 8 as Windows 8 Phone?  In the future they may be right…

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A Wireless Display Feature in Windows Blue Could Mean One Device For Everything

Filed under: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Blue — Tags: , , , , — colinizer @ 20:55

There has been a lot of work put into syncing profiles across devices in Windows 8+.  Perhaps you only need one device…

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Friday March 15 2013

Get a Hand Earning Points for Prizes, Building Windows 8, Windows Phone & Azure apps in Canada

Filed under: Win8, Windows 8, Windows Azure, Windows Azure Mobile Services, Windows Phone 8, WP8 — Tags: , , — colinizer @ 2:56

 

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Thursday March 7 2013

Prediction: New Devices will Surface from Microsoft for Windows 8 Blue summer 2013

Filed under: Microsoft, Surface, Windows 8, Windows Blue, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 8, Xbox — Tags: , , , , , — colinizer @ 18:20

 

This is entirely based on thought, guesswork, what’s really needed, what’s possible, and wishful thinking at worst.  It is not based on any communication or disclosure from Microsoft (directly or indirectly). 

Microsoft – note the short branding style.

Update: The Build 2013 conference has been announced for June 26th, 27th & 28th.  This is around the time that the Surface devices were announced last year.  A big negative comment around Build 2011 was that there wasn’t a lot of developer information prior to Build 2011.  Leaked builds aside, an early conference this year could help appease developers ahead of the Windows Blue release.  However, a criticism for the Surface announcement in 2012 was that there were no pre-order date given.  A much earlier conference this year may not provide for any new device pre-order announcements if we are looking at an autumn timeframe for new device availability, unless Microsoft has been very busy at work and such devices are coming sooner that we think – an end-of-August date (6 months after the Surface Pro) would tick all the right boxes for back-to-school and stay out of the way of the next Xbox release.

Update:  Speculation is moving towards reality – Paul Thurrott of Winsupersite claims that Microsoft will ship an 8" device in 2013.  So read 8" instead of 7" below, providing almost 200DPI if the resolution is 1366×768. 

Update June 3 2013: Microsoft is having a crazy sell-off of Surface RT and Surface Pro at the Microsoft TechEd North America conference.  This signals new devices around the corner!

Queue wavy dream sequence to summer announcements…

Surface Mini – $299

Windows 8 is now available on the the 7” Surface Mini (for $300), which includes Office 2014 RT store apps for Word, Excel, PowerPoint & OneNote (with no business license), limited or NO desktop, and is compatible with the new Surface Dock (Pro) (see below).  It features a low-power I3 equivalent, 2GB RAM and 32GB SSD.  Battery time is 8+ hours.

Update June 3 2013: Dell is selling Windows RT devices for $299.  An Intel Baytrail-based Surface Mini later this year, seems very likely now.

Surface Mini Pro – $399

Also in the mini series is the 7” Surface Mini Pro (for $400), which includes Windows Pro, Office 2014 RT Pro (which add a store version of Outlook with an Office business license), a desktop with app compat, domain join, management group policy with system center/InTune, and docks fantastically using the Surface Dock (Pro) with no DPI issues.  It features a low-power I5 equivalent, not ARM, 4GB RAM and 64GB SSD.  Battery time is 6+ hours. There are WAN model options for $50 more.

Mini users can upgrade their OS to Windows Pro for $150 (but of course don’t get the physical RAM or SSD upgrade).

Both devices come with 2xUSB 3.0, 1xDP (plus DP-HDMI adapter), pen digitizer, WiFi, Bluetooth 4, GPS, Compass, Accelerometer, Gyro, NFC.  They are compatible with existing Surface power supplies and DisplayPort accessories, but not keyboards.  Buyers are encouraged to buy other Microsoft Bluetooth keyboards. 

Surface Dock – $49

There’s also the Surface Stand Charger for $50 which is a wireless charger for the Mini Series, with magnetic power-in connector and a bluetooth receiver with 1 DisplayPort out connector.

Surface Dock Pro – $99

The Surface Dock Pro ($100) features a 3-port USB 3.0 hub, the previously mythical DisplayPort MST hub with 3 ports and 1 DP-HDMI adapter, 1000-baseT Ethernet, and magnetic power-in connector.  The Mini series connects to the dock in portrait or landscape using one of the two strategically placed USB 3.0 ports also providing wireless charging. 

Surface Xbox Mini – $299

The Surface Xbox Mini is a 7” game/companion device at $300 – essentially a Surface Mini with no Office (though available as apps to buy in the store for $100) but increased GPU power. The battery lasts for 4+ hours of game play.

Windows RT –> Windows Phone

The Surface with Windows RT (aka Surface RT) is discontinued. Windows on ARM is now solely the foundation for new WP8 Blue devices which are becoming more like Windows RT, and are compatible with the Surface Dock (Pro) for desktop docking, video display and charging!!! Your desktop is now in your pocket allowing you to dock and use Windows RT on external monitors.

Windows now successfully covers tablets that become your desktop with Surface Mini Pro and phones that become your desktop with Windows Phone.

Surface Screen Adapter – $49

Turn any HDMI or VGA display into a single wireless screen for your Windows 8 tablet or phone (!) device with Bluetooth 3.0+HS or higher.

Update June 3 2013: Microsoft has announced Miracast support in Windows 8.1.  This means future Windows 8.1 devices will make use of these kind of screen adapters, which are in fact already available!

Surface Pro 2 – $799

Windows 8 is also available on the Surface Pro 2 (which now starts $799 with 8GB RAM), featuring the lower power Intel chipset with battery life lasting 6+ hours, and is compatible with the Surface Dock Pro, but not for wireless charging.  It adds in all missing sensors.

Update June 3 2013: Intel Haswell chips are out of the gate.  I expect we’ll see the announcement of a Surface device using Haswell at Build on June 26th – perhaps even an available device.

Surface Lap Cover – $149

The Lap Cover is also available for both the Surface Pro & the Surface Pro 2 which is similar to the Type Cover, but providing a locking angle for the screen without the stand and includes a battery which (when combined with the system battery) provides 8+ hours of use for the Pro, and 10+ hours with the Pro 2.

 

For $600 CxO and IWs are snapping up Surface Mini Pros with WAN, a Dock and a keyboard.  Some are saving $200 off the device with a new mobile provider 3-year plan. 

The $300 Surface Mini and Surface Xbox Mini become the fastest selling tablets ever during Dec 2013, with families buying multiple units from back to school to xmas. 

Then, there’s the ‘Xbox 720′…

Wednesday December 5 2012

Dell TP713 Wireless Touchpad First Impressions

Filed under: Windows 8 — Tags: , , , , , , — colinizer @ 19:57

Let’s take a quick look at the TP713 I recently bought and just plugged in.  Is it for you?

Dell TP713 Wireless Touchpad

 

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Choosing from the Spectrum of Windows 8 Hardware

Filed under: Windows 8 — Tags: , , , — colinizer @ 14:53

How do you choose from the spectrum of Windows 8 hardware?  I’ll take you through some of the things I considered to help you along the journey. 

Windows 8 choices

 

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Windows 8 Developer Training in Montreal at a Great Price

Filed under: Windows 8, Windows Azure — Tags: , , — colinizer @ 12:35

Microsoft has made bold moves on the software and hardware front for consumers with the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT, introducing the new WinRT application development platform for building Windows Store Apps. WinRT brings a new style of touch-first user experience, a sand-boxed application runtime with contract-based inter-app communication, a mobile-optimized execution lifecycle and rich notification support.  Would you like a jump-start on building your new Windows Store app for Windows 8?

your app here


For just $299 on Wed Dec 12th, you get a full day of developer training including in-depth explanation, demonstration, code sample walkthroughs and end-to-end application building.  Most training companies charge $400+ a day.  And yes, I’m doing the training Smile.

http://www.devteach.com/PostConference.aspx#PostWin8

While you’re looking at it, you may also want to consider the main 2-day DevTeach conference on Monday Dec 10th.

See you there!

2012 devteach postcon

Sunday March 11 2012

Windows Azure – a Cost-Effective Platform for ISVs

Filed under: Azure, SQL Azure, Windows Azure, Windows Azure Platform — colinizer @ 18:46
  • Use of a Windows Azure application server instance is now just USD$15 a month. 
  • A SQL database starts at just $5 a month.
  • Data transfer is $0.12 per GB (inbound is free)
  • There’s a free trial offer with lots built-in, and other discount packages available.

This is now at a price-point that is very competitive with discount hosting providers, but even better when you consider the Platform as a Service capabilities, SLA and scalability offered when you start putting things together…

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Navigating Windows 8 Beta with only Touch, Mouse or Keyboard

Filed under: Win8, Windows 8 — colinizer @ 17:33

Since the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Summit and the release of Windows 8 beta, I’ve been making serious use of my Windows Build conference tablet in different situations.  Sometimes (due to chosen hardware, dead mouse batteries, etc.) I didn’t have input access via touch, keyboard or mouse.  It’s even possible to find oneself having only one more of access.  This can make getting around Windows more interesting, but Microsoft has made practically every navigation action available through all input modes.  I’ve created a list of how to do major Windows 8 navigation using each of these input modes…

 

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